Duterte: PH ships ‘won’t move an inch backward’ in contested waters

By Sydney Antoinette Alipao

PHOTO: PCOO

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared that the Philippines will not withdraw its assets from the disputed parts of the West Philippine Sea. 

“We have a stand here and I want to state it here and now again. Na yung mga barko natin nandyan ngayon sa Pag-asa at saan pa, we will not move an inch backward,” said Duterte. 

He reiterated that he does not want to start a quarrel with China since the Philippines owes it "big debt of gratitude".

“Ayoko makipagaway nga sa China. Inuulit ko, may utang ng loob kami. Malaki, malaki ang utang ng loob. Buhay ang tinulong nya sa amin. Pero yung ano naman ng bayan namin, sana maintindihan ninyo,” he said.

Moreover, Duterte demanded for mutual respect despite admitting that the Philippines is an "inferior" in terms of "might and power."

“I’d like to put notice on China. May dalawang barko ako dyan…Sabihin ko sa China ngayon, as I said before, I am not ready to withdraw, I don’t want a quarrel, I don’t want trouble, I respect your position and you respect mine,” said the President.

Furthermore, Duterte maintained the deployed Philippine assets at the Kalayaan Island Group will stay.

“Ngayon, hindi talaga ako aatras. Patayin mo man ako, dito ako. Dito magtapos ang ating pagkakaibigan,” he continued.


RELATED ARTICLE: Philippine Daily Inquirer


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